The Patient Safe-D(ischarge) program used standardized tools to educate patients about their discharge needs, test understanding of those needs, and improve medication reconciliation at admission and discharge. A quasi-randomized controlled trial of the program found that it significantly increased patients' understanding and knowledge of their diagnoses, treatment, and required follow-up care. Based on the success of this test, Patient Safe-D was incorporated as part of the Society of Hospital Medicine's Project BOOST (Better Outcomes for Older Adults through Safe Transitions) initiative which uses medication reconciliation, teach back and the Discharge Patient Education Tool (DPET) to help reduce medication-related errors. BOOST provides a full implementation toolkit to help institutions implement this and other programs to improve discharge education.
Social worker/nurse practitioner teams collaborate with a larger interdisciplinary team and primary care physicians to develop and implement individualized care plans for seniors and other high-risk patients. The social worker/nurse practitioner team also proactively manages and coordinates the patient's care on an ongoing basis through regular telephone and in-person contact with both patients and providers. The program, known as Geriatric Resources for Assessment and Care of Elders (GRACE), improved the provision of evidence-based care; led to significant improvements in measures of general health, vitality, social functioning, and mental health; reduced emergency department visits, hospital admissions, readmissions, and total bed days; and generated high levels of physician and patient satisfaction. These successes have been across a variety of health system contexts, including: a VA medical center, primary care health centers, and as a part of a Medicare Advantage plan. A recent analysis found that the reduction in service usage saved the VA medical center $200k per year for the 179 veterans enrolled in GRACE. Another analysis in primary care health centers found that the program was cost neutral for high-risk patients in the first 2 years, and yielded savings by year 3.
The program was initially designed to serve low-income seniors, but has subsequently been replicated with different populations, including adults of all ages who are high risk, Medicare beneficiaries who are 70+ with multiple comorbidities, and older veterans following an emergent hospital admission and discharge home.
Formerly known as the Antenatal and Neonatal Guidelines, Education and Learning System (ANGELS), the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) High-Risk Pregnancy Program links clinicians and patients across the state with UAMS, where the vast majority of the state's high-risk pregnancy services, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, and prenatal genetic counselors are located. The program facilitates real-time telehealth consultation for patients, local physicians, and medical center specialists through a statewide telemedicine network; develops and disseminates guidelines to foster the use of best practices by obstetric providers across the state; and facilitates appropriate referrals to the medical center for tertiary care through a 24/7 patient/provider call center. The program has enhanced access to specialty perinatal care, including maternal-fetal medicine consultations and tertiary level obstetric care, which, in turn, has reduced complications, generated cost savings to the state Medicaid program, and led to high levels of patient satisfaction. The High-Risk Pregnancy Program has reduced Arkansas' 60-day infant mortality rate by 0.5 percent due to increasing the proportion of low-birthweight infants delivered at the medical center.
See the Description section for information about number of guidelines and new services; the References section for one new source of information; the Results section for updated information about consultations, guidelines, and website activity; and the Resources section for updated staffing information.
The Support and Services at Home (SASH®) program provides onsite assistance to help senior citizens (and other Medicare beneficiaries) remain in their homes as they age. Using evidence-based practices, a multidisciplinary, onsite team conducts an initial health assessment, creates an individualized care plan based on each participant’s self-identified goals, provides onsite nursing and care coordination with local partners, and schedules community activities to support health and wellness. A multi-year evaluation of the program found that total Medicare expenditures per SASH participant were $1,100-$1,450 lower per year compared to their non-SASH peers. It also found that participants were less likely to report issues with medication self-management compared to non-participants, and that Medicaid expenditures for long-term care for a subset of SASH participants were $400 less per person per year.